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Cover: Quick cuisine

Recipes with red onion

31Jul 12

Tuna lasagna with goat’s cheese and ginger

Tuna lasagna with goat's cheese and gingerLast night I wanted to try out my new oven-safe form and thought that lasagna would be a good idea. I took the ingredients I had at home and, lo and behold, made a delicious tuna lasagna with goat’s cheese and ginger that turned out to be quite a success! At first, the ingredients may sound a bit odd, but why don’t you try it yourself? I think you’ll like it.

Lasagna is an ideal food for students  because you can often use basic ingredients that you have at home – such as tomato sauce, and then add the ingredients that you happen to have at hand. Top it off with some cheese, pop it in the oven, and voila!

What we need:

  • 150g of tinned tuna
  • 2 large mushrooms or many small ones (should fill a medium-size frying pan)
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 350g of tomato sauce
  • 1 dl of milk
  • 100g of goat’s cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Lasagna noodles (about 10)
  • 100g of Cheddar cheese, grated

How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a medium-size frying pan.
  3. Wash and chop the mushrooms into chunks.
  4. Place the mushrooms in the frying pan and let them fry for 10 minutes.
  5. Chop the onion into slices. Once the mushrooms are done, place them on a plate for later.
  6. Place the onion in the frying pan and let fry for 3 minutes. Add the garlic.
  7. Pour the tomato sauce into the frying pan. Add the mushrooms and the milk.
  8. Let it all simmer for 3 minutes.
  9. Add the tuna and the grated ginger. Mix it all properly and let it simmer for 2 minutes.
  10. Add a small amount of the tomato and tuna sauce to the bottom of the oven-safe form.
  11. Now, alternate between lasagna noodles and the sauce.
  12. In one of the layers, add the sliced goat’s cheese.
  13. On top of the last layer, sprinkle the grated Cheddar cheese.
  14. Place in the oven for 30 minutes.

Note: There are several ways to bake pasta, and lasagna is just one of them. Another option is this baked penne with Dolcelatte and radicchio. Try it!

Time needed: 60 minutes
Serves: 4
Level: easy-intermediate

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19Jul 12

Chinese noodles with vegetables and oyster sauce

chinese noodles with vegetablesA simple and typically easy dish to spin together is a noodle dish, which requires basically no work. All you need are the ingredients such as vegetables and a sauce and “Voila!” – you have a tasty dish for the evening. If you want more protein, I also recommend this recipe for duck fillet stir fry with noodles.

And if you make some extra, you could stuff it in your lunchbox for the next day. That’s often what I do because I barely manage to crawl out of bed in the morning, always pressing “snooze” and waiting until the latest possible moment, with no time to spare for thinking of what food to bring for the day.

In this recipe I used corn, red onion, mushrooms and broccoli, and I steamed the broccoli before adding them to the noodles. It could not be easier!

When you steam broccoli, you preserve most of its health benefits, so I try to do that as often as possible. When steamed, they have a cholesterol-lowering benefit which always is welcome, although luckily, I´m not worried about that. Even so, it’s important to be aware of what you’re eating to avoid health problems in the future.

Also, broccoli works as a great detoxifier, as it washes out the system and eliminates unwanted contaminants.

Chinese noodles with vegetables and oyster sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A simple and typically easy dish to spin together
Ingredients
  • Noodles for 2 people (about 150g)
  • 1 red onion
  • 4 medium-sized mushrooms
  • 100g of corn from a tin
  • 2 "heads" of broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons of Japanese soy sauce (according to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Instructions
  1. Boil water and add the noodles according to instructions on the package.
  2. Cut the onion into slices.
  3. Wash and cut the broccoli into small pieces.
  4. Fry the onion and mushrooms in a frying pan in the oil until soft.
  5. Add some water to a saucepan and place the other vegetables in the saucepan so that the steam cooks them until soft. Add to the frying pan with the onion and mushrooms.
  6. When the noodles are ready, add them to the frying pan.
  7. Add the oyster sauce and the soy sauce, mixing carefully.
  8. Serve immediately.
  9. Serves: 2
  10. Time needed: 15 minutes
  11. Level: Easy

 

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11Jul 12

Fajitas with feta cheese and peppers

Fajitas with feta cheese and peppersThe London Olympics are fast approaching, and so are my exams. Instead of sitting like an owl in my room studying, I often prefer to sit in a park with my books, weather permitting. I also prefer to watch the Olympic Games on one of the big screens around town, as I like being around people and sharing in the excitement and nerves.

Spending so much time away from home however, will without doubt make me hungry at some point. As I’m sure you already know, living in London is expensive, and one single sandwich can cost around five pounds or even more. For this reason, I try to bring food out with me in a lunch box and save my money for something more fun at a different time, or for a pint in the park. Bringing food with you from home need not be boring – it can be just as tasty as storebought food – and you will know exactly what went in it!

Here is a great recipe for a luxurious fajita sandwich that you can take with you in a lunch box – just cut off the ends and it will taste and look like a deli-made dish! (Also try these cheddar cheese and courgette quesadillas.)

 

Fajitas with feta cheese, pesto and fried peppers
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetiser
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Here is a great recipe for a luxurious fajita sandwich that you can take with you in a lunch box
Ingredients
  • 4 Fajita wraps
  • 150g feta cheese
  • 2 tabespoons of pesto
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 2 pinches of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • ½ a courgette
Instructions
  1. Wash and cut the peppers, onion and courgette into thin slices or cubes.
  2. Fry them quickly until soft in the oil in a frying pan.
  3. Preheat the fajitas if they are to be eaten straight away.
  4. Put the Feta cheese in a bowl and with a fork mash it until soft.
  5. Add the pesto and mix carefully until a soft cheese spread forms.
  6. Spread the cheese-pesto mix (about one tablespoon on each fajita) onto the fajitas.
  7. When the vegetables are soft, spread them onto the fajitas and sprinkle the pepper over.
  8. Roll into hard rolls and cut away the ends.
  9. Enjoy in the outdoors with a beer and good company!

 

 

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15Jun 12

Pasta with pesto, broccoli and Feta cheese

Pasta with Veg and PestoPesto is an all-time favourite of mine and one of my must-have sauces at home. There is both a green and red variety, but I prefer the green one because it is so versatile. Here is a dish of pasta with pesto, broccoli and Feta cheese that I make a lot – often in the morning before I rush to catch the bus to Uni!

A typical pesto is made by first placing garlic and pine nuts in a mortar and reducing it to a cream. After that, you add washed and dried basil leaves and grind it to a creamy consistency. Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino cheeses are then added together with some olive oil. However, if you don’t want to go to all this trouble, you can find pre-made pesto in most supermarkets. The most common one is pesto alla genovese.

You may believe that pesto is only used as a sauce for pasta, but think again! These pesto cod and chips use it as a dressing on top of seafood. Play around with pesto, and you never know what new delights you might discover!

What we need:

  • 200g of tricolour pasta
  • 2 tablespoons of green pesto
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 dl of broccoli florets
  • A small tin of green beans
  • 10 black olives
  • 100g of Feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Tip! If you want to make your life easier, you can even use frozen vegetables instead of fresh.

How to make it:

  1. Wash and chop the onion, pepper and broccoli into pieces.
  2. Pour 1 litre of water into a saucepan and bring it to the boil.
  3. Add the pasta and cook it according to instructions on the package.
  4. Pour the olive oil in a frying pan.
  5. Place the vegetables in the frying pan and let it all fry for a few minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  6. Add the green beans.
  7. Chop the olives into halves and add to the frying pan.
  8. Drain the pasta when ready.
  9. Add the pesto to the hot pasta and mix carefully.
  10. Add all the vegetables from the frying pan.
  11. Grate the Feta cheese over the pasta and stir once or twice.
  12. Serve hot or store it in a Tupperware for later use.

Time needed: 15 minutes
Serves: 2
Level: Easy

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04Jun 12

Rice with chicken, fried vegetables and mango chutney

Rice with mango chutney and fried vegetables
One food item that I always try to have in the fridge is mango chutney. It is really versatile; it can be an accompaniment, a side dish sauce, an actual sauce in a stir-fry or  a topping just to add an extra flavour to something. I usually use it to sweeten something that might be too spicy on its own. It is good with strong cheeses too; try it for yourself – only your imagination sets the limit! (Also sample this pear and mango chutney.)

Chutney is a South Asian condiment, and there are many different kinds. They can be made from virtually any vegetable or fruit, herbs, spices or a combination of them. Often it is fruit, vinegar, and sugar cooked down to a reduction, such as in the case of mango chutney. Chutneys are usually sweet or hot; and both usually contain various spices, including chilli, but are set apart by their main flavour, such as mango or tomato.

If you have a little more time and energy than me, it is reasonably easy to make mango chutney at home, but I just bought a ready-made one. Here is a really simple stir-fry dish which is put together within minutes. I hope you enjoy it!

Rice with mango chutney and fried vegetables
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
a really simple stir-fry dish topped with mango chutney
Ingredients
  • 150g rice
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 150g frozen veggie mix with broccoli, green beans and little corn cobs
  • 100g chicken breast, boneless, chopped into fine slices
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of mango chutney
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Instructions
  1. Wash and boil the rice according to the instructions on the package.
  2. Sautée the chicken for 10 to 15 minutes on a medium heat until cooked throughout. Set aside.
  3. Peel the onion and carrot and chop them into thin slices.
  4. Wash the pepper and chop it into chunks.
  5. Fry the onion, carrot and red pepper in a frying pan in the olive oil.
  6. Meanwhile, thaw and cook the frozen veggies, according to packet instructions.
  7. When all the vegetables are soft, mix them together with the chicken strips and add the mango chutney as well. Stir all together and let the chutney become more fluid and sauce-like.
  8. When the rice is ready, scoop a bit out on a place next to the chicken/veggie mix. Add another spoonful of chutney to the rice.
  9. Serve immediately.

 

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17May 12

Potato au gratin with pesto and salmon steaks

Potato au gratin with pesto and salmon steaksDid you know that potatoes are delicious with green pesto? I find that making potato bakes (or potato au-gratin, if you want to sound sophisticated) is an easy and comfy way of making a proper dish if you are looking for more variety instead of always eating boiled or mashed potatoes.

Add some vegetables, such as mushrooms and red onion, and blend pesto with yoghurt or crème fraiche for a creamy sauce. Within the hour, you’ll have a dish that looks like a lot of work has gone into it, when really it was a doddle to make!

If you prefer chicken, use chicken breasts instead of salmon steaks in this meal. For more pesto and chicken recipes, I recommend this pesto chicken with caramelised aubergine, roast tomatoes, and olives.

What we need:

  • 4 small salmon steaks (500g)
  • 4 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 4 big mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of green pesto
  • 250g Greek natural yoghurt (for cooking) or crème fraîche
  • 100g grated cheddar cheese (about 6 slices)

How to make it:
1. Defrost the salmon steaks.
2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
3. Wash and peel the potatoes. Chop into thin slices. Place on a plate for later.
4. Wash and chop the mushrooms, onion and pepper into medium-size pieces.
6. Grate the garlic into a frying pan with some of the oil.
7. Add the onion and pepper and let it all become soft.
8. Add the mushrooms, mix it properly and let it all fry for 5 minutes.
9. Pour the yoghurt into a bowl and add the pesto. Mix it carefully.
10. Cover the bottom of an oven-safe form with some of the yoghurt /pesto mix.
11. On top, place slices of potatoes.
12. Next, alternate between yoghurt/pesto mix, vegetables and layers of potatoes.
13. On top of the last potato layer, sprinkle the grated cheese.
14. Place in oven for 60 minutes or until potatoes are ready.
15. 10 minutes before the potato au gratin is ready, and when the salmon is defrosted, place the steaks into a frying pan with some of the olive oil and fry until lightly brown.
16. Serve the salmon steaks with the potato au gratin and a rocket salad.

Serves: 4

Time needed: preparation 15 minutes + 60 mines in oven

Level: easy-intermediate

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18Apr 12

Chicken fajitas with red onion and guacamole

Chicken FajitasI love Mexican food for its spiciness and simplicity of the dishes. The typical foods such as spicy tortillas, nachos, quesadillas, and fajitas all are really filling and use combinations of flavours that I can´t get enough of! Plus, in my opinion, they are quite easy to throw together for a hearty meal.

Chicken fajitas with red onion and guacamole is a dish that I make at least twice a week because it is so yummy and simple to make. Fajitas make perfect student food because they are easy like a sandwich but with proper meal ingredients.

I usually cosy up with these fajitas and my favourite TV series after a full day at Uni. Although, since I stuff them so full, I have to be careful not to let all the ingredients spill out onto the couch. Regardless, I love this dish. All I can say is: Viva Mexico!

What we need:

  • 1 large chicken breast
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 large red onion
  • 6 Mexican tortillas
  • 100g of grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of spicy red Mexican sauce
  • 200ml of guacamole
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Herbs: garlic, ginger, pepper and cayenne pepper (a pinch of each)

How to make it:

  1. Chop the chicken breast into long slices.
  2. Place them in the oil in a frying pan and fry until cooked and sprinkle the herbs over it.  Place in a bowl for later.
  3. Chop the peppers and onion and fry them in the frying pan.
  4. Now, put the chicken back in the pan together with the peppers and onion. Add the Mexican sauce to taste, depending on how spicy you want it.
  5. Preheat the tortillas in the oven or microwave.
  6. Spread a tablespoon of guacamole on a tortilla and add some of the chicken and pepper mixture.
  7. Sprinkle some of the grated cheese on top according to taste.
  8. Roll the tortilla into a roll and eat with your fingers or a knife and fork.

Enjoy!!

Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2

Level: easy

You can either buy ready-made guacamole or make it yourself. Try this spicy guacamole recipe.

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15Apr 12

Baked potatoes with leek and Mascarpone cheese

Baked Potato with Leeks and Mascarpone CheeseDuring the winter time, I have found that my body craves more starchy foods such as potatoes. Mmmm…. The best part is that there is a huge variety of potato dishes! They can be baked, cooked, fried, boiled, and sautéed. They can be served hot or cold; as an accompaniment, main ingredient or in a salad. I have tried elaborate crushed new potatoes with feta cheese or plain potatoes with just a pinch of salt. This veggie can be cooked in any way imaginable and still be delicious.

The best part is that potatoes are year-round and cheap. These types of meals definitely fit into my student budget.

One easy potato dish is the baked potato. I have always loved how versatile baked potatoes can be, with basically hundreds of different fillings to choose from. For me, crispy baked potatoes with leek and Mascarpone cheese has become one of my personal favourites, since I can add whatever I want to the basic recipe: crispy bacon, sliced ham, sliced and fried chicken, tuna, or why not pieces of fried salmon? It is so easy to make and perfect for a winter evening!

What we need:

  • 4 large potatoes for baking
  • 1/2 a leek
  • 1 red onion
  • 25g of Mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 a red pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 a decilitre of chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 a decilitre of chopped green onion

How we make it:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 225 degrees.
2. Wash the potatoes and place them in the oven for 50-60 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, chop the pepper and onion into very fine pieces and chop the leek.
4. Fry the leek in the olive oil and add the red pepper, onion and thyme. Let it fry for 1-2 minutes and add salt and pepper according to taste.
5. Prepare the Mascarpone cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.
6. When the potatoes are ready, cut a cross on the top and make a hole by removing some of the inside of the potato.
7. Place a tablespoon of the cheese in the hole made in the potatoes.
8. Let it melt a little and then add a tablespoon of the leek, onion and pepper mix.

Voila! Sprinkle a bit of chopped green onion on top for presentation, and your baked potatoes are served!

Serves: 4
Time needed: 10 minutes + 50 minutes for the potatoes in the oven
Level: very easy

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07Apr 12

Shrimp soup with coconut milk and red curry paste

Shrimp soup with coconut milkA few years ago, I visited Bangkok while backpacking around Asia, and several times I bought shrimp soup with coconut milk and red curry paste from one of the small food stalls. I remember how delicious and cheap the soup was, and how happy it made my taste buds.

After having been in Asia, I feel a sense of “something missing” when I arrive home from school and only find rather bland food in my pantry. I recall my holiday’s exotic flavours and dishes made with a blend of spices that I wouldn´t dream of trying myself because it seems so overwhelming. I remember dishes that had that hard-to-describe tang that made my taste buds somersault with pleasure. And I sigh and think that those types of food are for holidays or restaurant visits only.

Although nowadays we are flooded with recipes of Thai dishes, often we think we don´t have time to “go exotic”, and that they just seem too difficult to make at home. Nothing could be further from the truth.

After doing some research, I found a recipe for a Thai soup that is easy to make, and which has both the delicious mildness of the coconut milk and the spicy tang of the red curry. Add to that the meaty taste of the shrimp, and your taste buds will be back in Bangkok! (If you are a chicken lover, don’t worry. This chicken in coconut milk broth will do the trick as well!)

What we need:

  • 1 squash
  • 1 small leek
  • 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil
  • 1 pressed clove of garlic
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 tablespoons of lobster stock
  • 4 decilitres of coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of red curry paste
  • 5 decilitres of chicken broth
  • 400g of shrimp
  • 1/2 decilitre of fresh thyme and some fresh coriander (as decoration)

How to make it:
1. Rinse and cut the squash and leek into strips.
2. Sizzle them in the oil in a saucepan together with the pressed garlic.
3. Cut the red onion in slices and add in the saucepan.
4. Add all the other ingredients except the shrimp.
5. Let it all simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Add the shrimp.
7. Pour the soup into large bowls and place the fresh coriander on top. Serve with fresh wholemeal bread and butter.

Serves: 4
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: easy

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02Apr 12

Pasta salad with broccoli and fried bacon

Pasta Salad with Broccoli and BaconBroccoli and bacon make a great combination. I especially like broccoli salad with bacon because of the contrast with the leafy green veg and crispy meat. In this recipe for pasta salad with broccoli and fried bacon, I add pasta to the mix, as well as a few more veggies for good measure.

I am aware that pasta salad is considered a summer food, but being the eternal optimist, and having seen the latest weather forecasts for London, I believe we soon enough will be visiting the park for a spring picnic. One can only hope!

It is not important whether we have to eat it inside huddled on the couch or, with better luck, on a picnic blanket in the park. Regardless of the weather, a pasta salad is easy to make and is a quick and cheap lunch to bring to University in a plastic box. Plus, it stays fresh for 1-2 days in the fridge! Make a large bowl and you are set for lunch, dinner AND picnic time!

What we need:

  • 500g of Penne pasta
  • 1 large red onion
  • 200g of broccoli
  • 200g of Feta cheese
  • 100g of black olives, without pits
  • 200g of sliced bacon
  • 100g of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 pinches of ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 and ½ decilitre of crème fraiche (sour cream or natural thick yoghurt for cooking)
  • 2 cloves of garlic

How we make it:

  1. Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and put in a bowl for later.
  2. Chop the onion into thin slices.
  3. Chop the tomatoes and cucumber into squares.
  4. Chop the olives into halves.
  5. Put all the chopped vegetables into a large bowl.
  6. Fry the bacon in the oil. Take off excess fat with paper and let it dry.
  7. Once cool, cut the bacon into slices and place in a bowl.
  8. Grate the Feta cheese over the salad and add the sun-dried tomatoes.
  9. Mix all the ingredients and carefully put the pasta in the large bowl.
  10. Add the pepper according to taste.
  11. Pour the crème fraiche into a small bowl and press the garlic cloves into it. Mix carefully and pour into a salad bowl. Mix with all the ingredients.

Serves: 3-4
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: very easy

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